I come from an extremely conservative Christian family. I won't go into all the details, but I will say that they shunned my lesbian aunt when she came out about ten years ago. I am the lone dissenter.
For years I have felt uncomfortable around them. They are so uber-religious that I felt that if they knew the real ME, I'd be shunned as well. So when I embarked on a writing career, I decided to use a pen name and keep it to myself. Even though my first story, a sweet Regency romance, is not something they would find objectionable. It's just that I didn't want to feel that I had them looking over my shoulder when I wrote. And I don't intend to stick with sweet romance forever. I read and enjoy a variety of heat levels.
Well, it all came out due to an error of mine with email signatures, and I finally had a long talk with my mom and one of my sisters about how I felt disrespected around them. That I had to respect their views, but no one had to respect mine. To my surprise, my parents changed their attitude 180 degrees! In fact, with the exception of one sister, the entire family has become some of my strongest supporters. My mother even made me a Regency gown for the RT convention (see the link below), and poses as Lady P for my blog series. My sister is on today's post as Letitia, Lady Beauchamp.
I can't tell you how good it feels to have everything out in the open. There are some things we can't talk about, but it's been easier than I expected to avoid those topics and focus on the things we DO agree on. I never would have dreamed we could ever come this far.
I am quite aware that there is always the possibility that someday I will do something that gets me shunned (by some) as they have my aunt. I can't do anything about that. I have plenty of friends who accept me the way I am, and if some in my family choose not to, that's THEIR problem. I prefer to believe that some members of my family may gradually back away from their extreme beliefs. I see some signs of it already.
But I can't guarantee this would happen with other families. I'm still pinching myself to make sure this isn't a dream!